Rain Barrels: Harvest Your Water!

Rain Barrels

It is hard to argue against the merits of a large rain barrel positioned to catch rainfall, especially from downspouts or gutters, and using it for your plants on dry days or during drought.

If you have an engineering degree, you can build a cistern. Lacking that, think of ways to save water in large containers that can be covered.

Or, consider these:

  • Giving new life to barrels originally designed for importing olives, the Great American Rain Barrel Company sells a polyethylene barrel that collects and stores up to 60 gallons of water. It comes with an overflow fitting, drain plug, screw-on cover, and threaded spigot for a hose positioned 14 inches from ground level. For more water storage, several barrels can be linked together with a garden hose. A diverter allows water to be channeled directly from a downspout into a barrel. For more information, including some on unpainted barrels, contact the Great American Rain Barrel Company, Inc., 1715 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136, go to greatamericanrainbarrel.com, or call 800-251-2352.
  • The Spruce Creek Company creates a 54-gallon rain barrel from a mold reminiscent of an old wooden barrel. Its one-piece construction is formed of durable, nearly ¼-inch-thick, UV-protected, polyethylene plastic and promises ease of setup, safety for children and pets, reduced evaporation, and insect prevention. It comes with a threaded solid brass spigot, automatic overflow, linkability, and two dispensing levels. Check The Spruce Creek Rainsaver for more details or call 800-940-0187.

For more tips on how to keep your garden green while saving water, see our water-wise garden article.

Reader Comments

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Rain barrel

you should not collect water from rain gutters if you have a shingled roof due to tar run off . you can smell the tar in the water , NOT healthy . If you have a metal roof it is ok ...

The City of Colorado Springs

The City of Colorado Springs does not allow us to have rain barrels, The city taxes rain-water landing on roofs. RainH2O Rules are different in the West.

I have been collecting rain

I have been collecting rain water at my home in Northfield,NJ since 1985. I can now collect approx.355 gals of water with 5 rainbarrels.Thats 355 gals that I dont have to buy from our local water company,and,the plants are better off ,too!